Saturday, July 15, 2017


The entry deadline has come and gone and I haven't opened the website...

I'm really not participating in the Fair this year. I know I said that last year and did it anyway. This year though, I'm really truly not participating.

The entry deadline for the State Fair was June 30th. Entries for the Johnson County Fair were due in this morning. I haven't touched the fair booklet. I've decided I've had enough.

Enough of what you ask?

Enough to know that I'm good enough. Enough confidence to walk away. Enough friendships to know that they will still be there whether I compete or not.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the Fair. I've posted this before but this is the place that taught me everything I know about baking, cooking and crafting. This is where I found my tribe of like-minded competitors. This is where I learned to embrace the competition. Learn from the people that are better than you rather than avoid them. Winning by default is not really winning but winning, say against JoAnn Esteb or Mary Alice Collins, now that's winning.

I love the excitement of competition. The fluttery feeling and rush of adrenaline you get in the moment before you find out whether you have won or not. When it comes down to it though, most subjective competitions are based on one or two people's opinion on any given day. Sure there are the technical points but all the "good" competitors will have a "technically sound" product. After that, it comes down to what your judge likes. It's learning to play this game. I've played it well but I've had enough.

I've come to the realization that I don't need another big fluffy ribbon to tell me I'm good. It's been more stress than fun trying to "stay on top" the last couple years. I've decided I need some time off. Not saying I'll be gone forever though. There are still lots of other competitions I'd like to do. I have thought for years that it would be fun to take a group of Fair friends and road trip down to the National Pie Championships in Celebration, Florida. Anyone interested? Of course I'd probably have to learn to roll a pie crust for that...

I will certainly be spectating this year but for now I'm happy on the sidelines. I'm still baking. This week I made a loaf of banana bread. It was really flat and really brown, but delicious nevertheless. I made a blueberry pie. It had overruns everywhere but tasted wonderful as ever. My project for this weekend will be finding the perfect peach cake recipe. My friend Sarah has a going away party next weekend and she has requested a peach cake. I'll be looking for the perfect no-holds-barred cake, and it can have cream cheese or whipped cream or anything else I want in it because there are no rules anymore. It's been fun baking without the pressure of perfection.

I didn't have to stress about baking around my work schedule this month or what days I may or may not get off next month. I worked all day yesterday then ran a 5K at midnight. I slept in this morning. Now I'm off to see a silk painting demonstration at the Southside Art League.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I will miss sharing with you at the competitions. /best wishes for your current endeavors.

    1. Thank you Deborah. Good luck this year!

    2. Nicely said. We will miss you, stop in at the fair for a visit. My Mom, Joann Esteb, for not have a computer. I will share your blog with her, such a nice compliment.

  2. I love love love this and am so proud of you for letting this year pass without the frenzy and stress. Now, if you decide to have a midnight baking session and need someone to taste-test the results and tell you how amazing you are, I'm sure we can find some runners to help you out.

  3. Love this post! Great minds think alike-I too will sit out for awhile. I completely cleaned my 3 shelf spice cupboard yesterday-wiped each jar and can and wiped down the whole cupboard-it looks so nice right now I might never bake again. JK of course. It is so enjoyable to cook and bake without all the stress that competition brings. I saw that piece on CBS Sunday Morning about the Pie Champtionship in Florida....looks like lots of fun for sure!